Regift Style 1
There are two types of regifting, the first type being the one we are all most familiar with, you simply do not like the gift. You don't like the style, the colour, the subliminal message you see lurking behind it, it's obvious regift vibe, whatever, but you know somehow you need to get rid of it. This is where regifting gets it's bad rap........at this point you are actually considering it as a gift choice for someone else! A gift you actually don't like, don't want, don't want to see ever again. There is some kind of karma attached to passing along a unwanted gift, I swear people can tell when it is given in that kind of spirit. Then again, it might be the slightly guilty look on your face.
Regift Style 2
So why do it?
The Regift Rules
Do not regift an item you hate. If you consider it ugly as sin or just plain junk, treat it as such and throw itout. Junk is junk and no amount of new gift wrapping is going to hide that fact.
Do not regift because you hate waste and then attempt to tell yourself you are being noble and working toward a greater good for the eco-world at large. If you can't use it, give it away to a worthwhile charity. That is way more noble than regifting.
Do not regift in it's original wrapped version. At least rewrap it for heavens sake. I was once at a party where the hostess was given a bottle of wine and an old gift tag was inside the bottle bag. None of us have looked at this couple the same way again to say nothing about how it made the hard-working hostess feel that lovely evening. Obviously offended, she told us about it.
Do not regift or dispose of anything that has sentimental value to the person who gave it to you. If your great-aunt gives you her treasured vintage tablecloth and she can't see the stains, take it gratefully and then store it somewhere. You will get good karma points for being gracious and your mother will be exceptionally proud of you. Effusive thanks are part of the deal. Someday you might be doing the same.
Do not regift anything original. The lopsided pottery mug your friend made? The handknit scarf in all the wrong colours? If there is one thing we should all know, when someone expresses their creativity, the offense of regifting goes way up on the sensitivity scale. When it is handmade, it not just a gift, it is now a piece of their artistic soul and you should know how artists can be when it comes to that. Doesn't matter if you don't like it, doesn't matter if she made 200 of them for her closest friends, hold on to it and do not regift........ ever.
Do not think you can save it for your next garage sale. Garage sales are visited by bargain hunters and then your friends and family who stop in for moral support. Do you see what can happen here? And yes they will remember that they gave you that planter two years ago.
Do have a regift date at home or work. Set a date with like-minded people then bring it all in and let everyone take a pick. This does not include the junk, remember that has already gone in the garbage.
Do organize a regift day for your church or organization, attach a nominal price just like you would with a garage sale and then donate the funds.
Do regift anonymously. Wrap up the regift items and start dropping them off at doorsteps as a little treat. Only for the good stuff, nice body lotion, bath salts, gourmet tea, something that truly would make anyone's day a little bit nicer. Attach a little handwritten card saying " A special regift just for you. Enjoy or pass it along". No name needed and done in the right spirit it really is good gift karma.
Do eliminate the need to regift. Be a big girl and just tell them their gift needs to be returned or exchanged. No one expects their gift choices to be perfect every time and most would appreciate the opportunity to make the gift more perfect. Better to request than regift.
Do edit your gift giving list. If you are annually exchanging gifts with people who never get it right and never will, then maybe there is a better way. Sometimes the gifting has just gotten out of hand and you are expected to give to co-workers or relatives you really don't know very well. Be the clever one and suggest a better way for the whole group. Have everyone bring books (wine, cologne, or gift cards) and then let everyone exchange to their heart's content.
Do acknowledge some people in your life are never going to have good gift giving taste. Their gift choice is always going to disappoint you and there is nothing you can do about it (you need a few of these to appreciate the really good ones). Do not let this challenge make you revert to petty behavior and compromise your own tasteful gift giving. Be the one that still puts thought and beauty into your reciprocal gift. Not everyone has good taste, but they may have the best sense of humour and that is why you are friends. And they probably love your great taste and style.
Do know that you may get busted so be ready with your explanation. Let me know how that goes for you.
Now, if someone just happened to regift me with this Hermes bag I found over at the beauty blog Beautiful Things to Share .............ignore my above post. My loss of street cred would totally be worth it.
Photo 1, 2, and 4 via Flickr/3rd photo from Carolyne Roehm/5th photo from the blog Beautiful Things to Share